Catchy Conference Papers for Berlin

Five special papers will be delivered by TEPPFA at the international PLASTIC PIPES XVIII Conference and Exhibition hosted in Berlin this year. These five papers have been chosen carefully and rightfully so. A grand total of 114 papers will be produced at conference and the association wants to make sure that its facts and figures are current and communicative.

Executive Director Tony Calton points out: “In general, conference papers have a longer shelf-life than newspapers. But they still have to be fresh and hopefully newsworthy. Our Berlin papers are very much a reflection of the innovative and dynamic world of plastic pipes.”

Gutters make the grade

Gutters might seem like an everyday necessity. TEPPFA will produce a paper that proves that these simple devices - when made from PVC - have a lower environmental impact than those turned out from non-plastic materials.

This knowledge was only revealed recently by assessing PVC gutters for their Environmental Product Declaration. “It might well change the way builders think about the buildings they build, says Calton.

TEPPFA's second paper is quite mind-blowing from a scientific point of view. “We asked technicians to predict the way some of our additives would behave once they become compounded into a plastic water pipe,” Calton explains.

“Experimental measurements of this infinitesimal molecular migration into drinking water are very time and money consuming. Our aim is to provide our industry technicians with a more effective tool that we call migration modelling.”

Mind-changing experience

A third paper is expected to raise more questions that it seeks to answer. It is an important marketing communications project carried out by the TEPPFA team that looks after the Civil's Application Group. The team has asked an agency to set up focus groups and to interview relevant stakeholders in various countries.

“We want to understand exactly what motivates all those who specify, buy and use our products in the civil engineering sector.” clarified Zoran Davidovski, the specialist who will present the marketing research paper. “It is only by getting into the minds that make our market of today that we can fine-tune our communication messages for tomorrow.”

TEPPFA has promised the EU that it will use a quarter of a million tons of recycled material by 2020. A fourth paper will explain that whereas the association is well on its way to achieve this ambitious target, many European product standards restrict the use of recycled material. “We aim to lobby for more realistic standards,” says Calton. “And in the meantime, we need to develop new material tests that demonstrate the exceptional durability of these systems.”

Game changer facing all pipe makers

Lastly a paper entitled: the link between politics and technical methods: the PEF case applied to plastic piping systems, will be delivered by TEPPFA's Claudia Topalli. Claudia has been taking a close look at a new method and proposal from the European Commission to assess the environmental footprint of products (PEF) and organizations.

“By all accounts, this PEF could be a game changer for all pipe makers,” says Claudia, “since it proposes comparisons and benchmarking as main objectives. Such envonnmental competitiveness could reveal significant opportunities for our industry.”

TEPPFA has already maintained close touch with the Commission on this prospect through various channels. Claudia Topalli will update the participants of the Berlin Conference with the fascinating behind-the-scenes developments.

PLASTIC PIPES XVIII will be hosted at Berlin's InterContinental during 12 -14 September. The choice of Berlin is highly significant since it marks the eightieth anniversary of the first plastic pipe installation in the same region. TEPPFA will be the main Gala sponsor for the event.

Further conference and registration details have been posted to: